Predicting packing characteristics of particles of arbitrary shapes

Mingle Gan, Nishanth Gopinathan, Xiaodong Jia, Richard A Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


A computer model for particle packing is of importance in both theories and applications. By taking a very different approach from existing packing algorithms, our digital packing algorithm - called DigiPac - is able to avoid many of the difficulties normally encountered by the conventional algorithms in dealing with non-spherical particles. Using the digital approach, it is easy to pack particles of arbitrary shapes and sizes into a container of any geometry. This paper brief ly describes the digital packing algorithm, but the focus is on validation of the DigiPac model through several case studies involving mono-sized non-spherical particles and also powders with different size distributions. Packing densities from DigiPac simulations are compared with those measured experimentally by ourselves in some cases and in others with data published in the literature using other models. The results show a good agreement in all the cases, which enhances our confidence in DigiPac that despite being a geometrical packing algorithm with no explicit consideration of particle interactions, it is able to predict quite accurately the packing structure of particulates whose shapes are commonly encountered in both industry and everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalKONA Powder and Particle Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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